Books > Culture > For Jean

For Jean

Poems, songs and letters by Robert Burns for his wife Jean Armour


Where to buy

A Beautiful New Collection of Robert Burns’s Poems and Songs Written for his Wife, Jean Armour, with Selected Letters.

Young Jean was a pretty lass with the voice of a nightingale and who loved to dance – all enticing qualities that caught the eye of her ardent young suitor, who rapidly fell in love with her. Their extraordinary marriage was passionate, tempestuous and enduring, and Jean sustained her family through the vicissitudes of ill health and uncertain fortunes with remarkable tenacity.

Burns wrote many lines of verse for her, or with her in mind. But, until now, Jean has been inexplicably neglected by many biographers and historians. To accompany the release of Catherine Czerkawska’s new novel about Jean – The Jewel – this attractive volume has been collected and annotated by the author, with a glossary and notes on each of the poems and a revealing selection of Burns’s letters.


"Novelist Catherine Czerkawska has done the Belle of Mauchline a service by gathering all the poems and letters Burns wrote to her, or with her in mind. These carry the editor’s clear-eyed, succinct editorial notes, placing them in context, so that by its end, For Jean feels a much more substantial piece of work than its slim page count suggests." - Rosemary Goring, The National

Trade information

For Jean

About the author

Catherine Czerkawska is a multi-award-winning novelist and playwright based in Scotland. She has written plays for the stage, ITV and BBC Radio 4, and has published numerous short stories. Her eight novels include The Curiosity Cabinet, shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and serialised on BBC radio in 2013.

Praise for The Jewel: “Beguiling and enchanting … I enjoyed this book so much that I read it twice.” – Scottish Review. “Finally gives voice to Jeany Armour, the girl who sang as sweetly as the nightingale, who was muse, mother, wife and lover to Scotland’s national poet. This is her song.” –  Sunday Mail. “Uplifting … The reader finds themself deeply immersed… superbly researched.” – Undiscovered Scotland.